- 250g (9 oz) butter, melted
- 500g (1 1/4 lb) chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 packet filo pastry
- 200g (7 oz) caster sugar
- 250ml (9 fl oz) water
- 8 tablespoons Greek honey
- 1 large piece of lemon peel
Prep:20min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr20min
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Butter the bottom and sides of a 23x33cm baking dish.
- Toss nuts with cinnamon. Set aside.
- Unroll filo pastry. Cut whole stack at once to fit the dimensions of the baking dish. Cover filo with a damp cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of filo in dish, buttering the top layer. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of filo, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 to 8 sheets deep.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the dish. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
- Make sauce while baklava is baking: Boil sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Add honey and lemon peel. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove lemon peel and discard.
- Remove baklava from oven and immediately pour cooled sauce over it. Let cool. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if wrapped.
For a little variation, you could use a combination of walnuts and almonds for this recipe.
Altered ingredient amounts. This is the second time I have tried this recipe and it just keeps getting easier. A few tricks I learned this time: Make the sauce first, before you start to do anything else with the baklava. Let it cook while you are preparing and putting everything together, and let it cool while the baklava is cooking. I got the sauce started, and then chopped and prepared the nuts (I used a variety of nuts; almonds, walnuts and pecans). I lay out my filo before I start layering and cut it to the shape of the dish I am making it in. This made the layering SO much easier. I put a piece of cling film over the filo and then the damp towel. This helps keep it from sticking to the towel. I made an extra 1/2 of the sauce recipe and it seems like the perfect amount (I doubled it last time and it seemed like too much). It took me about an hour total to prepare and assemble. CUT the baklava after assembly and before cooking, and top with butter to make everything smooth and “pretty”. Put the cooled sauce on as soon as you pull the baklava out of the oven. I let it adsorb overnight. Easy and wonderful!! I will be making this for years to come! - 21 Jul 2008
I have made Baklava for about 30 years now, ever since my greek stepmother made it during my teenage years. At first it took me about an hour to assemble, but now only about 15 minutes. Here are the shortcuts to save time. I do let the filo thaw, but do not cut the filo and do not cover it while layering. I just drape the bottom half over the dish and then fold the top half over it, "painting" a thin layer of butter quickly. It is only necessary to lightly brush on the butter, not saturate. The more wrinkles the sheet has in it, the better. You just keep putting and folding the edges and that ends up making the baklava more layered and crispy. If it turns out soggy, it's from too much butter, not the sauce. Also, when you cut the Baklava before you bake it, use a sharp knife and cut to within a half inch FROM the bottom of the dish, so then when you pour the sauce into the cooled Baklava, the sauce seeps into every layer of the Baklava, but doesn't sit at the bottom. Then, cut all the way thru after the whole thing has completely cooled. - 21 Jul 2008
I have been using this recipe for years, and I just realised I never reviewed it. I have made it dozens of times, and without fail it always impresses. You should follow these tips that are suggested by other reviewers: 1) Lightly roast nuts prior to chopping (I always use walnuts). 2) Make 1 1/2 times sauce recipe calls for. 3) Make sauce AHEAD of recipe, and put in the fridge to cool. By pouring the cool syrup on the hot baklava it will turn out crispy. For any function, family get together or holiday, I always get requests for this dessert. - 21 Jul 2008